A poster seeking information on Ranjan Bhattacharya at MGM Medical College on Sunday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
The CBI, which is probing the Ranjan Bhattacharya missing case, has increased the reward from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for information about him.
This July, the investigating agency had declared a reward of Rs 1 lakh, expecting that the sum would work as a bait for tracking down Ranjan, whose disappearance on January 25, 2010 — the same day his colleague Pankaj was arrested from his Jugsalai home — sent shock waves in the city.
Ranjan’s disappearance was seen as the outcome of his alleged involvement in the serial doctor murder cases.
But as the CBI did not get any response and failed to make much headway in the missing case, it increased the amount to Rs 5 lakh.
Besides, the CBI has put up as many as 2,000 posters, carrying a file photograph of Ranjan, his address and telephone numbers of the investigation agency’s camp office as well as its New Delhi headquarters, across Jamshedpur. The posters have been mounted in areas like Bistupur, Sakchi, Baridih, Parsudih, Golmuri and Sitaramdera.
People having information about Ranjan can call up at the landline numbers 011-24368641 and 011-24368637 and cellphone numbers 09968081236 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The CBI has promised that the informer’s name and identity would be kept confidential.
The case was being initially handled by the CBI’s Ranchi branch. The department’s special crime branch took over the probe in March this year.
“We are hopeful that the CBI’s special crime will find out my brother. The officers are toiling hard to trace him and their efforts will definitely yield results,” Rajat Bhattacharya, Ranjan’s elder brother told The Telegraph.
In June 2010, Ratindra filed a habeas corpus with Jharkhand High Court, leading the judiciary to order the district police to reply with a counter-affidavit. The police said that as Ranjan was a wanted man, he might have fled.
In September 2010, Ratindra demanded a CBI probe. In October 2010, the high court again asked the police to submit a counter-affidavit. As the police did not give a satisfactory reply, the high court on November 19, 2010 ordered a CBI probe.